Definitionspronunciation note: The preposition is pronounced (ʌp
). The adverb and adjective are pronounced (ʌp
).Up is often used with verbs of movement such as 'jump' and 'pull', and also in phrasal verbs such as 'give up' and 'wash up'.Please look at category [sense 22] to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.
1. preposition If a person or thing goes up something such as a slope, ladder, or chimney, they move away from the ground or to a higher position. ⇒ They were climbing up a narrow mountain road. ⇒ I ran up the stairs and saw Alison lying at the top. ⇒ The heat disappears straight up the chimney. Up is also an adverb. ⇒ Finally, after an hour, I went up to Jeremy's room. ⇒ Intense balls of flame rose up into the sky. ⇒ He put his hand up. 2. preposition If a person or thing is up something such as a ladder or a mountain, they are near the top of it. ⇒ He was up a ladder sawing off the tops of his apple trees. ⇒ The Newton Hotel is halfway up a steep hill.
Up is also an adverb. ⇒ ...a research station perched 4000 metres up on the lip of the crater.
3. adverb [ADV after v] You use up to indicate that you are looking or facing in a direction that is away from the ground or towards a higher level. ⇒ Paul answered, without looking up. ⇒ Keep your head up, and look around you from time to time. 4. adverb [ADV after v] If someone stands up, they move so that they are standing. ⇒ He stood up and went to the window. ⇒ He got up and went out into the foyer. 5. preposition If you go or look up something such as a road or river, you go or look along it. If you are up a road or river, you are somewhere along it. ⇒ A line of tanks came up the road from the city. ⇒ We leaned on the wooden rail of the bridge and looked up the river. ⇒ He had a relation who lived up the road. 6. adverb [ADV after v] [be ADV] If you are travelling to a particular place, you can say that you are going up to that place, especially if you are going towards the north or to a higher level of land. If you are already in such a place, you can say that you are up there. [mainly spoken] ⇒ I'll be up to see you tomorrow. ⇒ He was living up North. ⇒ I live here now, but I've spent all my time up in Swaziland. 7. adverb [ADV after v] If you go up to something or someone, you move to the place where they are and stop there. [+ to] ⇒ The girl ran the rest of the way across the street and up to the car. ⇒ On the way out a boy of about ten came up on roller skates. [+ to] ⇒ He brought me up to the bar and introduced me to Dave. 8. adverb [ADV after v] [be ADV]
If an amount of something goes up, it increases. If an amount of something is up, it has increased and is at a higher level than it was. ⇒ They recently put my rent up. ⇒ Tourism is up, jobs are up, individual income is up. ⇒ Germany's rate has also risen sharply, up from 3 percent to 4.5 percent. ⇒ Over the decade, women in this category went up by 120%.
9. adjective [v-link ADJ]
If you are up, you are not in bed. ⇒ Are you sure you should be up? ⇒ These days all sorts of people were up at the crack of dawn. ⇒ Soldiers are up at seven for three hours of exercises.
10. adjective [v-link ADJ] If a period of time is up, it has come to an end. ⇒ The moment the half-hour was up, Brooks rose. ⇒ When the six weeks were up, everybody was sad that she had to leave. 11. adjective [v-link ADJ] You say that a road is up when it is being repaired and cannot be used. [British] ⇒ Half the road was up in Leadenhall Street, so their taxi was obliged to make a detour. 12. adjective [v-link ADJ] 13. adjective [v-link ADJ] 14. exclamation People sometimes say 'Up yours!' as an insult when you have said something to annoy them or make them angry. [informal, rude] ⇒ 'Up yours,' said the reporter and stormed out into the street.
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